I highly recommend visiting Heath ceramic in Sausalito if you ever visit Northern California. Advance reservation is required to have a tour inside the studio, but it is pretty amazing how each piece goes through various process just to get out on the store. If I remember correctly it was like a piece of ceramic takes average of 5 days and it will go through about 12 people’s hand before it becomes finalized.
There are two types of clays that Heath uses, one from Sacramento and another from Colorado/mid-west. The majority of the process is pretty manual and requires a lot of experience. Each type of work is handled by a craftsman that mastered their work. I wonder what would happen if one person takes PTO or even a sick leave… I should have asked.
The end result of the work comes our and goes through some pretty intense quality control process. The second level graded items are usually sold at some discount in their store, so check it out. Heath has seasonal work as well, so it is pretty nice to see their work in unique design every season.